Until recent times it was believed that humans did not respond to the seasonal change in day-length, as other mammals do.
In 1980, Dr. A. J. Lewy, a psychiatrist working at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), demonstrated that high-intensity light
affects the natural release of melatonin by the pineal gland in the brain in people and reported it in the journal Science. This finding
demonstrated that human physiology is influenced by light.
An engineer named Herbert Kern who suffered from depression saw that report of Dr. Lewy's study. He had noticed that his depression appeared at almost the same time each fall and remitted around the same time each spring. It occurred to him that that his depression might be related to changes in the amount of daylight that takes place as the seasons change. He approached Dr. Lewy to see if it be feasible to use light to treat his depression, and Dr. Lewy arranged to treat Mr. Kern's depression by extending his day length by creating an artificial summer. Mr Kern was exposed to two extra hours of bright light in the morning and in the evening.
The treatment worked. Within a short period Mr. Kern's depression lifted, and the practice of "light therapy" or phototherapy
for the treatment of a seasonal pattern depression was born. Dr. Lewy termed this seasonal depression "Seasonal Affective Disorder", and coined
the acronym "SAD", which is commonly used to this day. A milder, sub-clinical condition is known as "The Winter Blues" or "Cabin Fever".
Light therapy is now the recommended treatment of choice for seasonal depression (SAD) by the American Psychiatric Association.
Articles recommending its use to general practitioners have been published by leading researchers from the National Institutes of Health in publications
such as the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The founders of Sunnex Biotechnologies deduced that wavelength as well as intensity would be a fundamental aspect of light therapy. This inference was based on their understanding of the nature of biologically significant excitations that can result from visible light absorption within living cells. They proceeded to conduct trials of several ranges of light wavelengths and determined that visible light from the shorter region of the green spectrum was by far the most effective wavelengths for suppressing nocturnal melatonin in humans. They patented the low-intensity GreenLIGHT technology utilizing exposure of the eyes to this range of wavelengths (i.e. color) for regulating human physiology.
Since wavelengths shorter than 480 nm, i.e. wavelengths in the blue region of the spectrum, were much less effective at influencing circadian physiology than the wavelengths in shorter region of the green spectrum, and since they believed that because of the high potential for ocular damage from blue light (wavelengths shorter than 480 nm) patents were restricted to wavelengths longer than 480 nm.
In the early 1990's Sunnex Biotechnologies approached Dr. Lewy to test this new low intensity green light technology.
After agreeing that tests conducted by Sunnex Biotechnologies indicated that nocturnal melatonin levels could be dramatically suppressed
by low intensity of this green light Dr. Lewy, agreed to test the phase shifting ability of this new low-intensity green light on patients
with Seasonal Depression (SAD). Dr. Lewy presented the impressive results of these studies to the Society for Light Treatment and Biological
Rhythms and to the annual meetings of the Sleep Research Society and the American Sleep Disorders Association.
There are now over ten studies published in major peer-reviewed journals which have shown that a Lo-LIGHT lamp providing less than 1/10 of the light intensity provided by "bright light" therapy lamp is equally effective for light therapy. Read more. This is in dramatic contrast to the results of studies with blue light and blue-enhanced light therapy lamps, where several recent studies have found that blue light is no more effective or efficient than white light. Read refs 1 and ref2.
While there is a great deal of promotion of blue light and blue-enhanced light therapy, more recent studies,
whose authors include by many of the researchers whose earlier work is cited as validating the use of blue light therapy,
have confirmed the original conclusions by the founders of Sunnex Biotechnologies by demonstrating that blue light, that is
light consisting of wavelengths shorter than 480 nm provides no benefits for light therapy under normal conditions.
Read more on clinical studies using GreenLIGHT technology.
In North America, a no-risk rental program is available on some models. If the unit is purchased within 2 months from the time of rental, all rental payments are applied towards the purchase price. Order Now!
The Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT phototherapy lamp comes with a five year warranty. Details